With all the buzz that takes place in a commercial kitchen, it’s important to clean and maintain equipment regularly. While cleaning fryers and ovens might be at the top of your checklist, range hoods are often forgotten.
A range hood, also commonly known as an exhaust hood, helps remove airborne grease, smoke and odors that come from commercial ranges, fryers and other equipment. As a result, they’re a magnet for a lot of grime and debris. When there is a heavy buildup of grease and other contaminants in the exhaust hoods and vents, it can restrict airflow in your space. The tips below for cleaning a commercial range hood can keep your commercial kitchen clean and safe.
Before you start, unplug the unit and let it cool down. Try to conduct thorough cleanings every four to six weeks during off hours when no one is cooking. Make sure to cover the surrounding surfaces and equipment with sheets or plastic.
Cleaning the Grease Traps
There are different components of the hood you need to clean. Start by thoroughly cleaning the grease traps.
- Step 1. Remove the traps – Locate the grease traps on the commercial range rood. There should be two on each side of the hood.
- Step 2. Remove grease – Place grease into a separate container. Do not dump any grease down a drain or in the trash. Wipe down to remove any excess grease or residue. You can use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad, soft-bristle brush or cloth to scrub remnants from the traps.
- Step 3. Prepare water and liquid degreaser – Fill either a sink or large tub with warm water and liquid degreaser. Check the degreaser for the appropriate ratio.
- Step 4. Soak traps in water – Immerse the grease traps in the warm water and degreaser. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Step 5. Remove and dry the traps – Once they’re done soaking, let them air dry before reinstalling.
Cleaning the Filters
Next, focus on cleaning the filters. Since there will be grease residue, the procedure will be similar to the instructions for cleaning the grease traps. If there is significant tears or damage, replace the filters.
- Step 6. Remove the filters – Take out the air filters on the commercial range rood.
- Step 7. Prepare water and liquid degreaser – Remove old water used from soaking the grease traps. Refill either the sink or large tub with warm water and liquid degreaser. Check the degreaser for the appropriate ratio.
- Step 8. Soak the filters in water – Let the filters soak in the warm water and degreaser. Since they can attract caked-on grease, you might need to immerse them for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Step 9. Remove and scrub – Use a soft cloth to lightly scrub off any residue from the filters. Run them through water to rinse off any leftover remnants.
- Step 10. Dry the traps – Once you’re done cleaning, let the filters air dry before reinstalling.
Cleaning the Hood’s Interior and Exterior
Now that you’ve cleaned the essential components, it’s now time to clean the interior and exterior of the commercial range hood.
- Step 11. Prepare water and liquid degreaser – Add warm water and liquid degreaser in a bucket. Check the degreaser for the appropriate ratio.
- Step 12. Scrub the interior and fan – Use a non-abrasive scrub pad, soft-bristle brush or cloth to scrub the interior of the range hood. Make sure to thoroughly scrub the exhaust to remove any grease or caked-on debris.
- Step 13. Wipe off the interior and fan – Using a damp towel, remove soapy residue from the interior, exhaust fan and any other components. When finished, use a different towel to dry off.
- Step 14. Scrub the exterior – With warm water and degreaser mixture, use a non-abrasive scrub pad, soft-bristle brush or cloth to scrub the exterior of the range hood.
- Step 15. Wipe off the exterior – Using a damp towel, remove soapy residue from the exterior. When finished, use a different towel to dry off.
- Step 16. Reinstall the grease traps and filters – Once the range hood is clean and dry, reinstall the grease traps and filters.